Backcountry Tips and Tricks

Trek Chef: Alpine Couscous

Couscous is one of the best grains to bring into the backcountry. It’s so easy to cook and it yields a lot food in a short amount of time. Inspired by the NOLS cookery book, this couscous dish has complex carbs, protein, fats, salt, and fiber. The stuff we all love in the backcountry.

Alpine Couscous

2/3 Cup couscous (you can use bulk couscous or different box flavors!)

1 Cup water

½ (or more…) cup sharp cheddar –grated or cubed.

1/2-2/3 cup roasted and chopped almonds

½ cup dried cranberries

Salt and pepper to taste

Before you head up to the mountains, chop and roast your almonds. You can do this on a fry pan (make sure to keep almonds moving so as not to burn them), or you can roast them in the oven (again, keep an eye on them, those suckers will go pretty quickly.)

When it’s time for dinner, take out your cheese and cut it into small cubes (the smaller the cubes the easier they will melt) and pull out your cranberries, chopping them as well if you so desire.

With all your other ingredients prepared, bring your water to a boil. When the water is boiling, pour in couscous, stir, and then remove from heat. Keep that puppy covered for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, stir in cheese almonds and cranberries. Huzzah! Your dinner for 2 is complete with melted cheese and tasty almond/cranberry goodness.

To minimize mess, eat this meal straight out of the pot, the cheese causes a lot of greasiness. Don’t be afraid to play around with this meal, add more or less of the ingredients or add in new ones like TVP for a little added protein, pine nuts for a different nutty taste, or parmesan instead of cheddar. Customize this meal to your taste buds!

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Wendy Ewing

Wendy Ewing is a Washignton native and Northern California transplant. Growing up at the base of the North Cascades, her entire upbringing revolved around the mountains. With her family, Wendy spent most of her childhood backpacking, mountaineering, skiing, and mountain biking. With a strong passion for wilderness ethics and personal growth and development, she decided to pursue building Wild Beginnings Adventure Co. Wendy has written gear reviews for Trek Tech, Innovation & Tech Today, and Active Junky. In the winter season you can find her back country skiing and both trail running and mountain biking the rest of the year. Wendy lives in Shasta Lake, CA with her husband, John, and their adventure retriever, Sauvie.